Source: D. N. Daly

I was in college when first I heard complaints against students receiving accommodations. Those complaints came primarily from other students. In a moment of empathy, I imagined myself in their place, seeing some handful of people granted extra time, a quiet room, different equipment, and all other matter of what might seem like irrelevant, nonsensical, but still so very different tools. It could, on the outside, look arbitrary enough to earn an eye roll, or special enough to spur envy.

However, every day I must walk in my own shoes and see through my own eyes. And my steps are…


Photo Credit: Al Jazeera

Established in 1999, Jaslyk (“youth”) Prison passes itself off nominally as a youth camp. But reports from inmates of Jaslyk reveal it to be a place of torture. It is this notorious facility that Uzbekistan’s president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has ordered closed. Finally, in 2019, 20 years since its formation, sees Jaslyk Prison closed — but its legacy remains a dark stain.

President Mirziyoyev’s predecessor, Islam Karimov, headed an administration partially focused on the reformation of Uzbek identity following independence from the Soviet Union. In this pursuit, however, and alongside acts of corruption and staunch civil rights abuses and censorship, Karimov’s…


Image Source: eScent

The ability to smell provides many advantages. In addition to driving pleasure from pleasant fragrances, it adds multiple layers to any meals consumed. The taste buds along the tongue provide information on the food’s basic tastes, but the rest of the unique flavors are experienced through the involvement of smell. Beyond fuller enjoyments of culinary delights, a functional sense of smell can act as a valuable source of safety. Gas leaks can be detected by scent, for instance, allowing for the problem to be amended or the area to be vacated.

Those who do not enjoy the full benefits of…


Robert K. Massie’s books on Russian history set the bar for research and writing style. Image Source: Patrick Burns/The New York Times / Barnes & Noble

On Monday, December 2, 2019, revered author of Russian history Robert K. Massie passed away at his home in Irvington, Kentucky. He was 90 years old and died due to complications with Alzheimer’s disease, according to his wife and literary agent, Deborah Karl.

Robert Kinloch Massie III was born in Versailles, Kentucky. He was born to an educator father and progressive activist mother. He earned degrees from Yale and then Oxford as a Rhodes scholar.

Though he had brief stints as a journalist and came to primarily make his name as a Russian history scholar, Massie also briefly taught at…


Preamble:

“Your challenge will be especially hard,” cautioned my creative writing professor, “because you are writing historical fiction. You are writing a time, place, and culture you’re unfamiliar with.”

Don’t we all write about that, to an extent, regardless of genre? Sort of. But in some cases, we’re allowed to simply make up the rules as we go. When writing about real places and real faces, authenticity is essential for true immersion. You want your reader eagerly devouring page after page of your novel, not pausing and scratching their head at some reference that’s completely contrary to the time period…


For all the heartbreaks that come from leaving all a person’s ever known, loss is an every day occurrence.

Source: Canva

Andrew had been told he was a fool a few times throughout his life. The first during an uncle’s drunken rant on how it was a shame he was blind so he’d never be let into the army, and he was an idiot so he’d never amount to anything great, such a shame, Andy.

Andrew wasn’t blind; his one working eye saw well enough for both of them, well enough to make up for the deadened eye staring blankly and foggily ahead, but any perception of depth was beyond him.

Andrew wasn’t blind, but he did not need sight or…


2020 World Adoption Day falls on November 9. Photo Credit: worldadoptionday.org

November 9th marks World Adoption Day, an international occasion of recognition and support for those irrevocably involved in the adoption community.

As a whole, the adoption community represents an exemplary group of vastly differing stories that still have the power to unify its members through the thread that runs through the tapestry of all its tales. In this way, society as a whole might learn a thing or two from the adoption community and how people of all backgrounds still find a sense of belonging and way to relate to one another.

Just as my own adoption story stands unique…


Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons went over very well. There’s a psychological reason that’s especially relevant now. Photo Credit: Nintendo

A pandemic of this scope has not been seen in some hundred years. This traumatic, global event has taken a century to manifest, but it has taken no time at all for studies to appear exploring the mental health ramifications caused by the spread of COVID-19. Many agree, no matter a person’s position, they are mentally impacted by the disease in some way. Healthcare workers face the stress of working on the frontlines. Civilians staying at home worry for their incomes. Essential workers navigate working in a whole new way with new hurdles presented to them. …


Netflix’s ‘The Dragon Prince’ presents startling parallels to present day events and relations. It offers a warning and advice that should be minded. Photo Credit: TVDB

Conflict is as old as time itself. It manifests in different forms: sometimes we witness it as a natural fight for survival among wild animals, while other times it results in calculated social maneuvers. Small-scale, but impactful.

War, in contrast, presents a much larger scale. Entire communities can be uprooted, lives changed beyond recognition. The cost of human life is always devastating. But another tragedy of war lies with the bridges it burns. With the exponential increase in information accessibility, it is easier for people otherwise divided by war to connect. …


“She’s perfect”
— Lujanne

The most important lessons don’t always strike immediately. Sometimes, time is required for revelation to sink in. When it does, though. That time only helps to build up momentum to create a truly — and literally — breathtaking moment of realization.

Such is the case in The Dragon Prince. Netflix’s animated adventure lives up to the excitement built by its connections to Avatar: The Last Airbender. ATLA is celebrated for its deep storytelling, broad cast of lovable characters, grand plots, and impactful messages.

Dana Daly

Forever indulging in the euphoria that comes only from gaining new knowledge and sharing stories and wisdom with the world. Location: the crossroads of identity

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